A SOIREE OF CLASSICAL MUSIC
Boris Kraljevic and Friends
The Living Room @ The Arts House
4 January 2013)
This review was published in The Straits Times on 7 January 2013 with the title "Friends' soirée sizzled and stewed".
While The Arts House at Old Parliament House has established itself as a centre for literary arts, it is also an ideal venue for the performance of art songs and chamber music. Its quaint and intimate spaces lend themselves well, where artists and small audiences literally share the same breath. Such was the setting in The Living Room where Montenegro-born pianist Boris Kraljevic, now resident in
, and his musical
colleagues held sway. Singapore
All ears were on the Prima Vista String Quartet from
The quartet also provided premium support for the Briton Neil Franks, a mature student of Kraljevic, in J.S.Bach’s Piano Concerto in F minor (BWV.1056). That the keyboard was able to transcend the accompaniment and project spoke volumes for the non-professional soloist, while metronomic in parts was anything but amateurish.
Next, Serbian violinist Vuk Krakovic, another resident here, poured his heart out in Nigun (Improvisation) from Ernest Bloch’s Baal Shem Suite, a rapturous evocation of Hassidic prayer life. His rich, robust tone and perfect intonation, accompanied by Kraljevic on piano, made this a hale and hearty outing.
The ever-sensitive Kraljevic then partnered celebrated soprano Nancy Yuen in songs by Mozart and Schubert. Here the evening took on the congenial atmosphere of a Schubertiade, those soirees of legend when the Austrian composer and his friends performed and sang to each other’s delight. She dedicated the lovely Du bist die Ruh (You Are The Peace) to the memory of the late tenor Lim Shieh Yih (left), moments of sober reflection before the joyous Alleluia from Mozart’s Exsultate Jubilate celebrated a glorious life.
The second half belonged wholly to Kraljevic and the quartet in Dvorak’s Piano Quintet in A major (Op.81). The piano established the rocking rhythm, to which Krzyminski’s cello sang a lament that laid the path for an exciting and totally riveting reading. Heavily influenced by Bohemian folk song and dance, the work alternated melancholy with vigorous merry-making, and a plethora of emotions besides.
Violist Piotr Nowicki’s plaint in the Dumka slow
movement was emblematic of the passion that swung between extremes with Kraljevic’s
magisterial pianism keeping pace throughout. The tempo picked up for the
boisterous dances in the final movements, concluding a performance that sizzled
and stewed in Slavonic sauces. The Furiant
movement was encored out of popular demand. Chamber music does not get better